The Cincinnati Reds certainly felt at home at AT&T Park in the opener of this four-game series.
Now, it'll be official.
The Reds go for another big offensive performance as they try to continue their success against the San Francisco Giants in this unusual doubleheader Tuesday night.
Cincinnati (56-43) is among the best home teams in baseball at 32-17. The Reds will get a chance to build on that despite being in San Francisco, since they're considered the host in the second game of this twin bill - the makeup of a July 4 rainout in Cincinnati.
The venue hasn't mattered much to the Reds, who have won 11 of 14 in the regular season versus the Giants (45-53) while batting .283 and averaging 5.2 runs.
Cincinnati beat them again Monday, collecting 17 hits - nine for extra bases - in an 11-0 victory to remain perfect in four meetings this season with San Francisco.
"I couldn't have ordered it up any better than that," manager Dusty Baker said.
Shin-Soo Choo has been a big part of that success against the Giants this year, going 6 for 12 over the past three games after he had a double and a solo homer Monday.
That's all part of the center fielder's 16-game hitting streak, which started with two hits in a 3-0 home win over the Giants on July 2. He's batting .431 with 15 runs during the stretch, which includes multi-hit performances in eight of his last nine games.
While Choo attempts to continue pacing the offense, the Reds are hoping Tony Cingrani (3-1, 3.23 ERA) can get this doubleheader off to a strong start in his first appearance since the All-Star break.
The rookie left-hander has a 2.70 ERA with 20 strikeouts in 16 2-3 innings over his last three starts, but limited offensive support has left him with an 0-1 record.
He allowed two runs over 5 2-3 innings against San Francisco on July 3, an eventual 3-2, 11-inning win.
The Giants will counter with Eric Surkamp , who is making his first start since Tommy John surgery cut his rookie season short in July 2011. The left-hander, who went 2-2 with a 5.74 ERA in six starts that season before getting hurt, was 2-0 with a 4.00 ERA in nine minor league starts this year.
"Coming off surgery, you're going to have your ups and downs," Surkamp told the team's official website. "My arm is back to 100 percent, but repeating (the delivery) is still part of the process.
"It's been a long year. ... You can't really say it's just another game."
Barry Zito (4-7, 4.88) may share that feeling when he takes the mound wearing a road uniform in the nightcap. The left-hander is 0-6 with a 9.89 ERA in eight road starts, but being at AT&T Park may be just what he needs to end that slide.
He's 4-1 with a 2.45 ERA in 11 games there. However, he hasn't defeated the Reds since a home victory Aug. 8, 2009, going 0-3 with a 3.74 ERA in seven games - six starts.
The Reds will oppose Zito with right-hander Greg Reynolds , who hasn't appeared in the majors since going 3-0 with a 6.19 ERA in 13 games - three starts - with Colorado in 2011 after being drafted second overall five years earlier.
"I think it's more gratifying this time around," Reynolds told the team's official website. "I definitely had to fight my way to get back. I'm excited about this opportunity. I'm glad the Reds are giving it to me. I will give them everything I've got."
Reynolds, a native of nearby Pacifica, went 10-2 with a 2.53 ERA in 18 starts at Triple-A Louisville.
|San Francisco Giants|
|July 21, 2013||Jeremy Affeldt||15-Day DL||Strained left groin|
|July 09, 2013||Hector Sanchez||15-Day DL||Strained right shoulder|
|July 08, 2013||Joaquin Arias||15-Day DL||Appendicitis|
|July 05, 2013||Andres Torres||Day-to-Day||Left game - right calf cramp|
|June 24, 2013||Joaquin Arias||Day-to-Day||Hamstring|
|June 21, 2013||Chad Gaudin||15-Day DL||Right elbow contusion|
|July 20, 2013||Derrick Robinson||Day-to-Day||Sore left shoulder|
|July 10, 2013||Ryan Hanigan||15-Day DL||Sprained left wrist|
|June 29, 2013||Johnny Cueto||15-Day DL||Strained right lat|
|June 28, 2013||Johnny Cueto||Day-to-Day||Left game - tight right lat|
|June 14, 2013||Jonathan Broxton||15-Day DL||Right elbow flexor mass strain|
|June 01, 2013||Johnny Cueto||15-Day DL||Strained right shoulder|
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- It took a few more tries than Bruce Bochy would have liked to earn his 1,500th managerial win.
He might remember this one for a while considering it came in the nightcap of a doubleheader wearing road gray uniforms while batting first as the home team.
Pablo Sandoval hit a two-run double to help Bochy reach the milestone victory, and the San Francisco Giants split a straight doubleheader with the Cincinnati Reds with a 5-3 victory in the nightcap Tuesday.
"I don't know what that number means, except I'm fortunate I've been doing this as long as I have," Bochy said. "I'm thankful. I know how lucky I am."
Hunter Pence hit an RBI single, Gregor Blanco had a sacrifice fly, and Brandon Belt added an RBI groundout in San Francisco's first win in six tries against the Reds this season after being outscored 34-6 in the first five meetings - including 11-0 on Monday night and 9-3 in the opener Tuesday. The Reds had 10 hits after combining for 32 in the first two games.
The teams were forced to make up a July 4 rainout at Great American Ball Park. Cincinnati batted last and wore home uniforms as the visiting team.
Bochy became the 21st manager with 1,500 wins and third active along with Reds skipper Dusty Baker and Detroit's Jim Leyland. Bochy said "it's very humbling" to be mentioned among such managers.
"He's a fine manager. He's a guy that I enjoy managing against," Baker said. "I didn't even know it was 1,500, so congratulations to Bruce."
Bochy tipped his cap to the crowd when the milestone was announced as players shook hands afterward. And Barry Zito , the pitcher Bochy removed one out from qualifying for a win, praised the skipper's feat.
"I think he's a very underrated manager, maybe because he's a quiet guy and doesn't toot his own horn," Zito said. "That's a very special accomplishment and we're all very happy for him."
The Giants were outscored 34-6 over their first five games with Cincinnati before doing just enough in Tuesday's second game.
Devin Mesoraco had a three-run homer among his three hits in the opener to put him at 6 for 9 with two homers through the first two games. He didn't start the second game but struck out as a pinch-hitter to end the seventh, with a runner on second, and stayed in the game.
The Reds called up former Stanford right-hander Greg Reynolds (0-1), a native of nearby Pacifica, from Triple-A Louisville to start the second game. He allowed five runs and eight hits in five innings of his first big league outing since a start Sept. 25, 2011, for Colorado.
Santiago Casilla (4-2) struck out two in 1 1-3 innings for the win, then Sergio Romo recorded the final four outs for his 24th save in 27 opportunities. He struck out Brandon Phillips to end the eighth with two runners aboard, then struck out the side in the ninth after Jay Bruce 's leadoff single - including Mesoraco to end it.
Casilla was the third pitcher in relief of struggling lefty Zito, replaced after allowing a pair of two-out hits in the fifth including Todd Frazier 's RBI double.
Zito, who won Game 1 of the World Series last fall, saw his winless streak reach nine starts since the lefty beat Oakland on May 30.
Frazier finished with two doubles and three of Cincinnati's hits on a night the Reds missed multiple chances. They stranded 14 baserunners, seven in scoring position. Bruce also had three hits.
"We were never really out of it," Bruce said. "We just couldn't get the timely hit, and Barry was making enough pitches to skirt around it."
Earlier, Joey Votto and Zack Cozart also homered for the swinging Reds, who had pizza and sushi delivered to the clubhouse for a quick dinner between games.
"We've got some hot bats," Mesoraco said after the opener. "Ride it out as long as you can. You want to go out there and put up as many runs as you can, especially early, and take a little pressure off the starting pitcher. That's what we were able to do the last two nights."
Cozart finished 4 for 4 with two RBIs and three runs to back Tony Cingrani (4-1). The left-hander was added to the roster as the Reds' permitted 26th player for the doubleheader. He was headed back to the Arizona Rookie League after the game to fulfill the final five days required after being optioned previously to the minors. He is set to return and start Sunday for Cincinnati.
The Reds had dominated the Giants this year after allowing San Francisco to rally from an 0-2 deficit to win the NL division series matchup last October.
In the opener, the Reds knocked Eric Surkamp (0-1) out after 2 2-3 innings in his first start since late September 2011 after undergoing Tommy John elbow surgery.
"I still have a lot of work to do coming back," Surkamp said. "I feel like I'm close. I feel a little herky-jerky throwing pitches."
Notes: Attendance for the two-for-one at AT&T Park was 42,310. Both games count as home stats for the Giants. ... Between games, the Reds optioned INF Neftali Soto to Triple-A Louisville and transferred LHP Sean Marshall to the 60-day disabled list. ... Shin-Soo Choo had his career-best hitting streak for the Reds snapped at 16 games in the opener. He was 0 for 6 on the day. ... Cincinnati played its first single-admission doubleheader since Aug. 24, 2011, at the Marlins. ... The Giants designated for assignment RHP Hunter Strickland to clear room on the 40-man roster for Yusmeiro Petit , who struck out seven in 5 1-3 innings of relief in Game 1 after his contract was purchased from Triple-A Fresno. San Francisco optioned RHP George Kontos to Fresno a day after he threw a career-high 63 pitches in 3 1-3 innings. ... The Giants will visit President Obama in the White House on Monday to celebrate the franchise's World Series championship from last fall.